The machines that are first invented to perform any particular movement are always the most complex, and succeeding artists generally discover that, with fewer wheels, with fewer principles of motion, than had originally been employed, the same effects may be more easily produced. The first systems, in the same manner, are always the most complex.
A quote from Adam Smith on industry.
And Tyler's reponse (the source of the quote and inspiration behind this post): "reminds me of web development".
Right on with refactoring magic, because hindsight is 20/20.
True Specialization Means Empowering each User
The ideal interface to collaboratively created databases and services is one perfectly suited to the changing needs of the user. Developers tend to isolate the view, controls, and data into different code sections (see more on MVC. This approach lends itself well to one where users are in charge of their interface, removing all non-essential information. My ideal evolution of this architecture is one in which the user can customize all design sections of a service to their particular needs, but our tools aren't quite advanced enough yet.
A little about Adam Smith
Adam Smith was and continues to be an influential author long after his time. His prescient and detailed motivational philosophy has left a lasting legacy. An echo through time, resonating truth of value and principle.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Adam Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics.
For further reading explore The Wealth of Nations.
I'll leave off with another quote of Adam Smith's. Within it he alludes to the invisible hand of motivation, interest, and intention. Pay careful attention to how Adam concludes that individual motivations result in outcomes they had not consciously considered. (I see some overlap of this to the Nash Equilibrium, and competing strategies find balance).
Every individual...generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.